Fribourg Things to Do

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Best Rated Things to Do in Fribourg

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    The Town Hall

    by globetrott Updated Nov 19, 2009

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    The Town Hall of Fribourg is quite an impressive building, especially when you see it from the backside, where a high basement had to be constructed in order to build it at the edge of a mountain, see my 2nd photo, there is also some old medieval fortification-wall.
    Dont miss to take a look into the arches under the big stairs : there you will see an old cannon and an old fire-fighting-wagon (my pics 3-5).

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    Rue des Epouses / Hochzeitergasse

    by globetrott Updated Nov 17, 2009

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    Rue des Epouses / Hochzeitergasse is the name of a small sidestreet and there you will see this newly wed couple, beautifully dressed in the local traditional costums, standing high above the street.
    The inscription is made in french and in german and the meaning of them differ a lot:
    Hüt! Freu di Hochzitter, du guade ma,
    morn het am End d'Frau scho dini Hose a !
    (Heute freu Dich, Hochzeiter, Du guter Mann
    morgen hat vielleicht schon Deine Frau deine Hosen an !)
    Today you still may be happy, good man,
    tomorrow your wife might start directing you...
    ---
    Voici la rue des Epouses fideles
    et aussi le coin des Maris modèles
    This is the street of the happy couple
    ...?...

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    Art & historymuseum

    by globetrott Updated Nov 17, 2009

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    In the Museum for Art and History (Musee d'art et d'histoire) you will find great works of art made by Delacroix, Hodler, Crotti, Tinguely, Marcello and a lot of others and there is also Switzerlands biggest collection of sculptures dating back to the 16th century.
    The museum of today was made by connecting the old slaughterhouse with the Ratze Mansion.
    The Art & historymuseum of Fribourg is open:
    Tue – Wed and Fri – Sun 11.00am – 06.00pm
    and every Thu from 11.00am till 08.00pm
    entrancefee is 6 sft (=4 euros)

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    Eglise des Cordeliers/ Franziskanerkirche

    by globetrott Updated Nov 19, 2009

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    Eglise des Cordeliers/ Franziskanerkirche looks great mainly from inside and has some very interesting and unique altars and even a "black madonna and black child" . In most cases such wooden sculptures turned black over the decades by the millions of candles that were burnt very close to them. (my last photo)

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    Murtentor

    by globetrott Updated Nov 19, 2009

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    Murtentor dates back to the year 1410, it has a hight of 34 meters and still today all of the cartrafic coming from the westside of the town is goind through this former towngate. There is also quite a long part of the medieval townwall at both sides of Murtentor.

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    St-Nicolas Cathedral

    by globetrott Updated Nov 19, 2009

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    St-Nicolas Cathedral is the most interesting church in Fribourg. Its beginnings date back to the 13th century and the way it looks nowadays is mainly gothic style. You can step up the tower, but I did skip that, I was not in the mood of climbing up more than 350 steps to the top.
    Dont miss to take a closer look at the sculptures around the main gate and then take look inside the cathedral as well !

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    a town built on several hills

    by globetrott Updated Nov 20, 2009

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    Fribourg is a town that was built on several hills and at both sides of the meanders of a river, so you will see high bridges there and you have to step up and down at many places. All of these photos were taken from the bridge next to the townhall, from where you have a great view of the hill at the other side of the river.

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    the swinging saints of St. Nicola

    by globetrott Updated Nov 19, 2009

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    Take a closer look at the great entrance-gate of St-Nicolas Cathedral with ornate decorations and lots of interesting sculptures. The saints in my main photo seem to listen to some great swing-music. Something else that you will find mainly in Switzerland is the custom to add some color to the gothic sandstone-sculptures (in my photos 2 + 5).

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    Taste une moitié-moitié

    by Tripack Updated Aug 24, 2005

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    Fribourg is well known and appreciete for its cheese quality as the Gruyère, my favorite since I have teeth ;-), and the Vacherin, for example.

    Do not miss the occasion to taste these local delight by eating a Fondue moitié-moitié (half Gruyère-half Vacherin).

    Here you will find the secret Swiss recipe to make your own Fondue or just go to a traditional Swiss restaurant...

    You need a special pot called a "caquelon" to prepare a fondue. Once the fondue is ready, the caquelon is set up on the table on a small burner. Keep the fondue on a constant heat, but make sure it does not overheat. We use special forks with long handles to dip the bread in the molten cheese.

    Ingredients (for 4 cheese amateurs):

    * 1 clove of garlic
    * 800g of cheese mixture (400g Gruyere and 400g Emmantaler, for the classic “moitie-moitie” (half and half) fondue.) You may also vary the mixture of cheese depending on your taste.
    * Dry white wine, such as Fendant du Valais
    * Freshly ground pepper
    * Flour, maizena or potato starch
    * Bicarbonate of soda
    * Kirsch Liqueur
    * French bread cubes, about 1 inch in size with crust on at least 1 side.

    Preparation & Service

    1) Rub a clove of garlic against a fondue dish (you can leave the garlic in the fondue dish).
    2) Add 4 dl of dry white wine and let it warm at a low temperature. When the wine boils, put 800g of grated cheese and mix it continuously at a medium-high temperature until it reaches boiling point.
    3) Let this mixture cook for another minute or two and then add the binding agent (see below).
    4) Season with pepper and serve as soon as possible. Be sure that the cheese is kept warm at a low temperature while serving.

    To bind the fondue:

    1) Mix the following ingredients in a glass: 4 or 5 teaspoons of maizena, potato starch or flour.
    2) Add one teaspoon of Kirsch (1 teaspoon = 1 person) and a pinch of bicarbonate of soda.
    Once the cheese mixture is finally mixed and melted, pour it slowly into the fondue pot and serve.

    Bon appetit !

    DIY Fondue
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    Eglise des Cordeliers…Franciscan Church..

    by Greggor58 Written Oct 14, 2010

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    Visiting this church is a MUST DO when you are visiting Fribourg , the medieval interior of this church is guaranteed to WOW you., and make for lasting memories.

    As you walk into the interior of this grand open space, the first thing that you probably will notice is the brightness and the symmetry of this Holly place. On either side of the nave the church is lined with small individual chapels all similar in design, a painting, framed with carved marble or stone. The Friary dates from about 1256 and has been added to over the centuries. The Nave was rebuilt in 1745 in a late Baroque style and since then there have been modifications including a restoration completed in about 2005.

    The church contains a number of important works of art including the Master of the Carnation Altar, a paneled work that was actually completed in Basel that dates from about 1480. The” Master of the Carnation” by the way was the title given to the Swiss painter Paul Löwensprung, who signed his work with either a red or a white carnation.
    The Antonious Altar that dates from about 1506 is likely the most important work of the Fribourg Master Hans Fries, another paneled work that illustrates “Antony of Padua” in a city square preaching the scriptures. The Jean de Furno Altar that dates from the early 1500’s is also seen here…a three paneled bronze relief image of the Crucifixion.

    There were people present during my visit here that were praying and so I really tried to not be too intrusive and interrupting of they’re privacy. I did not manage to obtain photos of the main altars found here.

    You really can’t miss the carved image of “Christ at the Whipping Post” that dates from 1438.I couldnt find any information about the artist unfortunately.Its a mystery??

    If you’re lucky enough that there might be a recital coming up please don’t miss the opportunity to hear the grand organ found here, constructed between the years 1747 and 1750, built by Johann Konrad Speisegger. Located at the opposite end of the church than the altars, look up and see it for yourself, elevated on the second level of the church.

    Take a few minutes to examine the Chapelle des Ermites, a tiny chapel accessed from the main entrance of the church, its entryway consists of two black marble columns with Guardian Angels greeting you from the top of the entranceway. Inside you’ll have the opportunity to see, protected behind an enclosure of bars, a wonderful interpretation of a Madonna and child that has a black appearance and is surrounded by golden filigree. This Madonna is supposed to be a copy of the Black Madonna of Einsielden, a small town about 20 kilometers south east of Zurich. I haven’t been able to find any reference to it anywhere on the internet, at least in English and there’s nothing really mentioned about it in a book entitled L’eglise des Cordeliers de Fribourg. Im assuming that it’s protected behind bars because of the amount of gold that the art work contains.

    Try to take some time to explore here, and hopefully you’ll have the place to yourself, being respectful of this Holly place and its Patrons is quite important to the integrity of the church. I hope that you have sufficient time to investigate here and see all that you would like to here.
    Admission is free and you can gain access from 0800 until 1700.

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    Place de Petitie St Jean…Old Town.

    by Greggor58 Written Oct 14, 2010

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    This is a “meeting place”, a large old town square if you will, a wide open space found at the bottom of Rue Samaritaine where it intersects with Rue d’Or. Here you can find a small selection of restaurants or cafes to choose from if you would like to enjoy a meal or a beverage here, it makes a good spot to take a break if you’ve been walking for a while which is what we did before continuing our little walkabout.

    Just a word of caution though…we discovered that the restaurants that we attempted to have a light snack in ANYWHERE in the Old Town closed they’re kitchens at 1400 or 2:00 PM for a “siesta”, not re-opening until the dinner hour. They did serve beverages though during this time period.

    From April until November on the FIRST SATURDAY of the month there is a large FLEA MARKET that operates here so if you’re interested in antiques and knick knacks you could check this out.

    Just a stone’s throw up Rue Samaritaine you will find the Fountain de St Anne, a wonderfully crafted work of Gothic Art by Hans Gieng

    If you’re passing through on a walkabout take a few minutes here to soak up some ambiance of the Old Town, it’s a really pretty place.

    Middle Bridge Access to Place de Petitie St Jean. Place de Petitie St Jean,Fribourg,Switzerland.
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    Cathedral of St. Nicholas

    by Greggor58 Updated Oct 14, 2010

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    The cathedral is likely the most recognized “symbol’ of the City of Fribourg, its tower dominates the skyline and can be seen from many places throughout the city. I would think that a visit to the Cathedral is a MUST Do whenever you’re spending time here in Fribourg.

    This wonderful structure took more than two hundred years to construct. The Cathedral is actually built on the location of an “original” “sacred” building that dated from the founding of the city in 1157. Construction started in the year 1283 and was more or less completed in about 1430 except for the tower portion of the cathedral which was completed in about 1490, just two years before Columbus sailed to “discover” the Americas…just to give you some perspective on the real age of this building.

    The collection of “art” is rather eclectic in fact, the structure itself and some art found inside, Gothic in origin, some works of art from the Baroque era, and then some works including some of the stained glass that would constitute the “Modern” era, all coming together in a fabulous makeup that’s both humbling and impressive. There is a guide available for free when you enter the Cathedral and it outlines the various notable works of art and relics of the Cathedral, don’t forget this as it will help you know what it is that you’re looking at.

    As you approach the front doors of the cathedral you’ll first see an immense set of heavy wooden doorways surrounded by an ornately designed archway decorated with stone sculpted figures with golden highlighted features representing the Last Judgment, a bevy of Prophets and Angels and in some ways is similar to the entrance portal of the Cathedral of Bern. It truly is an impressionable arrival!!

    As you enter the Cathedral you enter into a grand open space with high decorated ceilings, the perimeter of the cathedral lined with small individual alters that are designed with art from throughout the centuries.
    The main alter is closed off from public access but you can still see from a distance the “Holly Trinity” statues of the Father, the Son, the Holly Ghost suspended high above the alter.

    Try to remember to take some time to investigate the “Chapel of St. Sepulchre”, the entrance being just to the right as you enter the front door of the Cathedral. This small and dimly lit chapel contains a large sculpted grouping of 13 characters or figures. This sculpting is considered to be the MOST important group of late Gothic “monument” sculpting in all of Switzerland.
    The scene is of Christ laid to rest in the tomb by Nicodemus and Joseph. Mary is present as well as John, two unidentified women and two angels. Created in about 1433 it is thought to have been worked on by at least three artists. Again don’t forget to look up to see the beautiful ceiling paintings. The dim lighting and stained glass in the chapel sort of off to the side of the sculpted scene certainly make for a memorable visit.

    I didn’t take the time to walk the steps to the tower, but as reported on other’s pages here and information available easily on the internet the view of Fribourg is quite spectacular from the top. The Carillon consists of thirteen bells, reputed to be some of the oldest bells in Switzerland although Im not sure just how old that might be.

    Entrance to the Cathedral is free however there is a nominal charge if you want to access the tower. For adults the cost is 3.50 CHF and students and seniors the cost is 2.50 CHF.

    Tower access is SEASONAL only and open to the public between April 5th and October 31st, the access hours vary depending on the season so please consult the website or telephone for current information.

    Access to the Cathedral in general is from Monday to Friday 0930 - 1800 and Saturday from 0900 – 1600 and Sundays and public holidays you can visit between 1400- 1700.

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    Sculpted and Historic Fountains

    by Greggor58 Written Oct 14, 2010

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    Although Fribourg is not revered for its beautiful fountains like other cities such as Rome or Paris or even Bern you may be surprised to know that here in Fribourg you’ll find a wide variety of them, many of them created in the 1500’s and all of them designed with wonderful sculpted center pieces set atop artsy columns of stone situated in the center of a large water basin.

    If you have picked up the city brochure from the Tourist Information Center you can easily locate them scattered throughout the city center and Old Town areas of the city.

    The days that I last visited in July of 2010 were quite warm and the waters of the fountains are cool and refreshing if you want to use them to cool off…I didn’t drink from them but it certainly was tempting.

    Many of these wonderful sculptures are the works of a Hans Gieng, a Swiss Renaissance sculptor that is also responsible for many of the fountain sculptures found in the nearby capital city of Bern. He is thought to have originated from Swabia but is recorded as becoming a citizen of Fribourg and a member of the Traders Guild in 1527.
    In this era of European history the term Swabia was mean to include geographical areas now known as Baden, the country of Liechtenstein, the modern German speaking areas of Switzerland, and the area now known as Alsace in France.

    The light brown stone of the sculptures is likely to have come from the Jura Mountains, not too far away as the crow flies, just a little bit north and west of Fribourg.

    Some of my favorites included the “Fountaine de la Vaillance” sculpted between the years 1549 and 1550 and is of a man in amour with a lion at his feet This can be seen next to the Choir of the Cathedral of St.Nicholas.

    Another interesting fountain is the “Fountaine de St Jean”, another work belonging to Hans Gieng and located just outside of the compound housing the Headquarters and Church of the Knights St Johns Hospitaller..its the centerpiece of the large square that you’ll find here.

    The “Founaine de St Pierre” was sculpted in 1592 by a Stephan Ammann and is located in front of the Civic Hospital. Not to be too irreverent but I LOVE the sparkle or aura that surrounds his head….reminds me of “A GOOD IDEA” kind of symbolism.

    The “Fountain of the Samaritan Woman” is another Gieng sculpture and was completed in about 1551…the depiction is of Christ and the Samaritan woman speaking at the well of “Jacob”. This fountain is located in the Old Town on rue de Semaritane.

    There are many more available to see, most of them similar in design and all of them wonderful works of art to be seen and appreciated without cost! Take a look for them.

    These fountains are certainly a cultural feature of the city that is unique!.

    Fountaine de la Vaillance,Fribourg,Switzerland. Fountaine de St Jean,Fribourg,Switzerland. Founaine de St Pierre,Fribourg,Switzerland.
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    The Funicular ride...

    by Tripack Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    A surprising and ecological system is used to operate this funicular since 1899. So the wastewater of Fribourg move the Funi from the Neuveville District up to downtown Fribourg. Ah the eternal power of gravity!

    Operating hours:
    Mo-Sa: 7.00-8.15AM and 9.30AM-7.00PM
    Su: 9.30AM -7.00PM

    Quick way up to the town
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    St. John Knights Hospitaller, the Commandery.

    by Greggor58 Updated Oct 14, 2010

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    The St. John’s Hospitaller was originally established in Fribourg in the Auge area of the Old Town between the years 1224 and 1228, as development occurred in this area they moved to the present location in 1259.

    Grouped around a courtyard the walled compound of the Commandery is a group of buildings that include, a church, a small chapel, a cemetery and a hospital structure, located close to the River, just adjacent to the Pont or Bridge St. Jean.

    The doors were locked that I tried to access on both the church and the metal gate that leads you into the small cemetery and the St.Anne Chapel.

    The structure of the church that you see today was modified twice for certain, once in 1885 and again in 1951, the only original part structure that is still present are the walls which date to 1264.

    The smaller St. Anne Chapel was built in about 1514 and originally was built as a charnel house or a repository for bones and human remains.

    Aside from the obstructions to examining the interiors of these wonderful looking structures it is certainly a historic Institution situated along the edge of the very picturesque square known as the Planche Superieure.

    If you’re walking the Old Town you’re certainly likely to come across this SECURE little gem tucked along the river banks of the Sarine or River Saare. I would have liked to have ventured indoors of these structures to visit some of the art that’s certainly inside…maybe if you do you’ll have better luck than I did!

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